How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner

I remember the first Thanksgiving dinner I ever made.  It included my in-laws as guests (my mother-in-law may as well be Martha Stewart) and was in our new home, the first house I’ve ever lived in my entire life, and I think it may have been the first time the in-laws had been to our new house as well.   So, no pressure, right?

I consulted a few people on several items, including a women with her own baking business and my brother-in-law for his amazing stuffing recipe.  Since then I think I’ve cooked 3 or 4 Thanksgiving dinners now, and with some research on the internet have my own catalogue of recipes I use.   Here they are, I’ve done all of the work for you.  If you have never cooked Thanksgiving dinner, just follow the directions below.

The day/night before, brine your turkey.   I use a big cooler (like the kind you take to a picnic) to soak the turkey in.

Make your cranberry sauce by following the instructions on the package of cranberries.   It’s basically boiling the cranberries with some sugar and water.   I also squeeze in the juice of the orange I just used the peel of for the turkey brine.

Thanksgiving Day:

I use the aluminum foil wrapped method for cooking turkey.  I used to use the store bought plastic roasting bag method, but I like this one better.   Either way, I stuff the turkey with a couple of whole carrots, stalks of celery and a cut up apple, and then add some more to the pan itself.   It helps keep stuff moist and adds flavor.   This is the tip I learned from the baker.   The rest of the details on the foil wrapped method are at:

For the rest of the fixins:

Something to snack on while dinner’s being made:  Buffalo Chicken Dip

Follow this recipe, and place into a large glass casserole dish.   Once you’ve taken the turkey out of the oven, stick this in there on 350 for 30 minutes covered with foil.   Then take the foil off and put it back in to let it get crispy.  Once the stuffing is done, pour some of the turkey stock over it to make it moist.

Candied Sweet Potatoes
This recipe is for fresh sweet potatoes (not canned) cut in half.  Not the sweet potato casserole covered in marshmallows.

Mashed Potatoes
The secret to awesome mashed potatoes is to use Yukon Gold potatoes.   This recipe is pretty much how I make mashed potatoes.   Sometimes I add in some roasted garlic, garlic powder, or shredded cheddar cheese too.

Get some brown and serve rolls and some canned or frozen corn and you should be all set.  And don’t forget the pumpkin pie!

If this is your first Thanksgiving cooking, good luck!   And let me know how it goes.

Until next time,


An addition to this, check out this page at, it provides recipes, and plus, I found the info for How to Fix 10 Common Thanksgiving Problems was awesome.


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